best-ish integrated amp for movie and tv watching.

greetings to you as i am new to audiogon.

with a recent bonus at work i am looking to upgrade my home theater. right now i am running a pair of omen defs off of a marantz 5005. the thing is i don't have any interest in having a surround sound set up, so i was realizing that the extra channels in the avr are unneeded. i'd rather spend money on a QUALITY 2 channel rig. my budget is between 1 and 2 thousand dollars.

as of now i'm mostly watching movies and tv but i've also just inherited my fathers' collection of vinyl. so i'm also trying to find an amp with a decent phono section.

and finally this amp will be fed by an oppo bdp-105. i will be auditioning the units i can but i posted this so i could start heading in the right direction with any opinions or suggestions.

my list of potentials is this:

marantz pm-8004
marantz pm-15S2
rogue sphinx
harmon kardon 990
anthem 225
yamaha as2000
yamaha as1000

while i'm mostly watching movies i plan on putting more music in my life. so eventually it'll be a 75/25 split with movies still in the majority. i'd like an amp with a wide soundstage so i can enjoy big sounding movies like star trek and dredd.

i hope this rambling makes sense to some.
IMO either Yamaha is the safest bet, sounds as good as any and IMO better built than the rest.I've heard Yammy amps from the 70's that sound as good as ever.

And, as a company, Yamaha will probally be around a lot longer as well.
Thank you Schubert. build quaility is my main concern.
I think I'd be inclined to go with the HK 990. It has a terrific amp section - ultrawide bandwidth design, lots of current (great for authoritative bass), and plenty of power. In addition, it has room correction capabilities as well as dual subwoofer outputs. This would make it a terrific amp for watching movies and TV. And it also has a very good phono preamp built-in....

HK 990 would be my second choice as well.
Can't speak to their recent build quality, but in past HK was never built like Yamaha .

If money is a factor A-s1000 is half the cost of a HK 990.
I'm assuming that wide bandwidth means BIG presentation. That's what I'm aiming for.
Nothing to do with that.You'd have to listen to every one of them in YOUR system to determine that. You really need a 5.1 AVA receiver.
I have an 800 dollar receiver already. But opening up the unit I can see its full of cheap mass produced junk and an underpowered power supply. For a little more I can get a marantz pm8004 that's built in their japan reference factory. Quality over quantity. Something that will last. A stereo I can give to my son to take with him to college.
Any thoughts on the YBA Heritage series?
i'm also looking for something as understated as possible. black. i hate being distracted from the tv image at something silver. there is no blacked out option for the heritage amps.

Bokkus, your speakers have a very high sensitivity, so a high quality 50w/ch amplifier will be capable of concert level volume in a large room. Any additional wattage will not be necessary. Given the same price point, a lower wattage amp will likely be better quality than a higher wattage one. If you have no plans to change speakers, or a change would be to another high sensitivity speaker, I would be looking for a high quality lower wattage amp. Also, I wouldn't be overly concerned with it having a phono input, as you can always add a separate phono stage which will likely be small in your price range and could be placed out of sight, and possibly better than built-in, but definitely not worse.

You might try posting another thread in the "Amps Preamps" section. This will likely give you better information than "Home Theater" since you are looking for a 2 channel integrated. Something like, Recommendation for quality ~50 watt integrated amp. Then in the body of the thread, state budget, color black, speakers, source, etc.

IMHO, the Musical Fidelity M3i would be an excellent choice for your situation, although it has a silver knob, and a separate phono stage is needed.
I use a Marantz SA15S2b for my music and home theater set up. On the music side, I couldn't be happier. As for HT, it's a killer. Gunshots literally made me jump like I've never been startled before. Great, clear dialogue and encompassing sound effects. You can't go wrong.

All the best,
Like Nonoise, I own a Marantz PM15S2 also and cannot say enough good things about it. In fact, it replaced Parasound seperates and has taken my 4 Ohm Vienna Acoustics speakers to new heights.

To also quote you Bokkus..."build quality is my main concern". I think you would be hard pressed to find an integrated amp on your list, or any other for that matter, as well built as the Marantz PM15S2. Well maybe its big brother, the PM11S3. Both are built at the Marantz reference factory in Japan and they just exude quality. Seriously, check one out and audition it if you can. Ask the dealer to use it with his best, most expensive speakers too. The Marantz will be up to the challenge.
knobs get painted black every day.
How is the PM15S2 when it comes to midrange? it looks like there is a treble control and a bass control but none for midrange. would the PM8004 be comparable at half the cost?
Since this appears to be primarily TV/Cinema...

I'd assume that you're going to use subwoofers to enhance the cinema experience. If that is the case, the HK 990 would be an easy call IMO. As mentioned above, it features an excellent power amp section, but that wouldn't be my major focus here. Unless the other units offer the same type of bass management/room correction software, I'd be pretty confident that the HK gives you easier/better subwoofer integration than any of the other choices. If any of the others is similarly equipped, then it might deserve consideration as well, but - in any case - the subwoofer integration capabilities would be my main focus in an integrated amp search for this application.
I replaced my B&K with MHT200. Wow, what a different and never look back. You can buy them used for less than $2K.
WRT your question about the lack of a
midrange control on the PM15S2 Bokkus, I
have no idea. I never use the treble and
bass controls either electing to feed the
purest signal possible into my speakers.
Never touched the tone controls once;
don't need to if you pay attention to
speaker placement and room acoustics.

The PM8004 is a fine amp too built at the
same reference factory in Japan. Yes it
is half the cost and close to half the
weight too. If you don't need the extra
power of the PM15S2 or the MC phono
capability, the 8004 may be right for you.
you've convinced me i'd go with the PM15S2 over the 8004.

and since i unplugged my velodyne sub over a year ago, i'm pretty sure i won't miss having a dedicated sub out. or dual for that matter. the hk990 looks AMAZING inside but the outside just looks cheap. two tone black on silver tends to do that.

my sub got the axe because my wife complained that the bass "hurts my chest". so i got rid of it and the b&w 685's in favor of a full range solution. while i do miss the ULF, i still get some LF.
when it comes to the weight of an integrated amp i like to think back to Jurassic Park...

Blood Sucking Lawyer: (looking at Tim holding the night vision helmet) IS IT HEAVY?

Tim: YEAH.

Well Bokkus, I wasn't really trying to convince you to go with the PM15S2 as much as I was simply answering your questions about it's extreme quality, lack of midrange control, and how compares to a PM8004. I still think you made a wise choice.

This is the amp that finally got me off the upgrade path and I plan on keeping it a long, long time. At nearly 41 lbs, I wouldn't want to move it anyway. Best of luck to you as you move forward.
I second the HK990. I was using it with my Mirage OMD-28s, and dual subwoofers, for TV and Music. It is a fantastic amp. I moved into a bigger house, and now have a full 5.2 setup, so am using a Pioneer Elite receiver for home theatre, but that HK990 isn't leaving my house. I use it as the anchor in my 2 channel system, driving Tannoy Definition DC8s. Tremendous synergy.

I think the reason it is such a good option is you have the ability to use room correction or not, and to use only portions of the correction if needed (low/mid/hi). To use an electronic crossover to a subwoofer if desired, the power to drive any speaker, a good DAC section and a good phono section if you need. I don't use the room correction with my Tannoys, but I absolutely had to with the big Mirage.

I will be moving into a tiny place in southern California in the next few years, and will have to downsize...the HK990 will be the amp I keep, of the 6 amps I currently own.

Hope that helps,